On January 12, the Building Committee met with our project architects – HGA – for our first meeting in over 4 months. HGA presented exterior design changes that would meet a $3 million budget target, as well as design suggestions for interior surfaces. 

Exterior items – 

 –A design option to eliminate roof railings and stairs to roof has been approved by the Historic Preservation Committee (HPC), with the understanding that they might be included if the budget permits them and the church prioritizes them. 

– Stairs from the basement (Hackett side) are required for code-compliant basement exit.

– Having a green roof is still an option; we have applied for a grant to help cover the cost of a green roof, whether it is accessible or not.

– Permeable pavers are specified for drop-off area/loading zone in front of the new parish hall.

– A design for an ADA compliant ramp and landing for the Office Door entry on Hackett was presented.

– Basement plans and designs for the new exterior walls were presented.  Our builder ( Catalyst)  and architects  (HGA) advised that the proposed walls use designs and construction techniques that have an estimated 200 year life span.

– The existing window wells will be excavated and glazed to provide natural light to the lower level. Protective grates are incorporated in the design.


Interior items – (First floor plan)

– Three French doors open from the Guild Hall to the memorial garden. Options for an ADA compliant patio surface for the exterior landings of these doors were requested, with the goal of allowing anyone with mobility issues to participate in events held in that space. 

– It was noted that we want ADA-compliant ramp access to the upper sacristy/ choir/organ level of the church. 

– Interior surface design materials (floor, ceiling and wall finishes) were reviewed with renderings of their effect with two different floor options. 


With an understanding that the first floor is most necessary for parish function, and a $3 million dollar budget would not allow the basement finishes to be completed at this time, the committee requested an itemized list of options for finishing each element of the basement.



On Jan 31, the Committee met again with our architects – HGA – to review accessibility issues and interior color choices.

Memorial Garden Access:

The committee also reviewed a possible treatment of memorial garden access from the new guild hall that would accomplish our goal of ADA compliant accessibility from the three French doors. Deck material for the north side of the courtyard were considered with regard for cost and size. Committee requested that the deck encompass a smaller area. We discussed changes to the courtyard path (to permeable pavers), but it was noted that these changes are not within the scope of the lower budget plans.

Sacristy Access:

Proposed changes to the Sacristy include placement of a ramp, and altering the spaces so they are on the same level as the upper sacristy, which would remain largely unchanged.

Interior Design Materials:

Committee approved color/material options for walls, ceiling, and flooring.

Wood on the cloister walk ceiling will match the Bride’s Walk ceiling. Guild Hall floors will be polished concrete. A palette of materials and paint was approved. 

We discussed inclusion of faucets for exterior watering.

HGA has set 3/14/23 as a goal for design completion, with intent to provide Catalyst with construction plans to be done by May 2023.

For people who would like to reference it- 

Here is a link to the Annual Report from the last annual meeting. In it you will find a comprehensive report on the building project that provides thorough background information. https://www.stmarksmilwaukee.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Annual-Report-2022.pdf

Respectively submitted, K.Katter